I had really low expectations for this cruise, as I had read 50+ reviews and 95% were negative. I wasn't expecting much.
Embarkation was a breeze. Got there at 1:30, very little waiting time in the line. Good to print out your luggage tags and check in on-line first which is what we did...major time savor. By the time we got to our room, our luggage was delivered very promptly by a nice fellow.
Unfortunately the weather was poor. Not to Carnival's doing obviously. So that put a damper on pool time. We hit the tail end of spring breakers so we had lots of drunk kids especially the day at Ensenada. Fall down drunk...I even ran into some vomit on the staircase. Not fun for my boys to see.
The kids club was marginally fun for my 8 and 10 year olds. We luckily went with friends who have boys our age so they did everything together. Ping pong was a huge hit as well as mini golf. Due to bad weather (cloudy, windy and at times it sprinkled) the boys only went down the water slide twice... too cold.
Not much to do in Catalina unless you like to shop. The zip line looked fun but the two younger boys were not heavy enough so we all opted to not do that. We did the golf cart rental. Saw one side of the island but wasn't very interesting. We didn't get off the ship in Ensenada as we weren't too crazy about the excursions. It was nice to have the ship to ourselves on that day...till all the drunks came back! Comedy club was funny. The trivia games were fun. Hasbro game was ok.
The food wasn't horrible but wasn't anything to brag about either. I felt it was par for a kitchen that serves 2900 people at once. The melted chocolate cake for dessert was yummy. I lost 3 pounds on the cruise as there wasn't anything worth indulging in more than once.
Our room was always clean. We had the same waiter for breakfast, lunch and dinner. His name was Arnold and should be recognized for his excellent, friendly service each and every sitting.
Shower was nice size and water pressure good and temp warm. No storage for bathroom supplies though.
We were in cabin U161. Didn't hear too much engine noise that others complained about. I liked having a window. Made the room seem bigger
Leaving the ship was also a breeze. We chose zone departure and it went without a hitch.
Overall a pretty good first time cruise. Would choose to avoid spring break next time. Was kinda bored but it was great NOT having to cook and clean for a few days! Gave this mommy a needed break!